The last posting mentioned a game played by your correspondent that ended with a horrible blunder losing a queen and the game. Well, folks, the game has been traced and it was worse than I originally thought. Resignation was not required as it was not my queen that I lost but my king….and after only eight moves. The game was played at the Thanet Congress in 1989. It was in round 2 against Jeremy Lynn who plays for Crystal Palace – the chess club not the football team – so if you are out there Mr Lynn, I hope this brings back happier memories for you than it does for me.

White:   Robert Page (125)    Black:  Jeremy Lynn (136)

Thanet Major 1989

1.  d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 Ng4 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. b3 Bb4 6. Nd2 Qe7 7. a3 Ngxe5

Have a look at the position. Hindsight is a wonderful thing and looking at it now it seems inexplicable that not only was I facing mate in one and did not notice but that I was given a fairly unsubtle hint that something was coming by being offered a free bishop. Furthermore, I remember thinking for a few minutes about my next move. Was I looking a gift horse (or, in this case, bishop) in the mouth? I could see no danger, possibly because the knight on e5 obscured the real threat, the queen on e7. So I took the bishop…..

8. axb4??

My opponent did not need to think as long as I did for his next move.

8……Nd3! mate

How we laughed – both of us but for different reasons. I could not believe how stupid I had been and he could not believe his luck. As mentioned in the last report, one of the players on my neighbouring board had not arrived to start his game and I had lost in about five minutes. Notwithstanding this result, this was quite a good tournament for me. I scored 50% in a group where I was one of the lowest graded players, emerging with a tournament performance of 136 – and we’re talking old money here. But of all the games I played in that congress, this is the one I remember. It provides a neat bookend to my other serious congress blunder (see Blunder of the Week April 1st 2015).  That was far more calamitous in that this was at the beginning of the game while the 2015 one – and no, it was not an April Fool, it really happened – came right at the end when I had mate in one and lost! My opponent went on to win the section, thereby confirming what I have always thought, that in order to win a tournament you need a little luck.




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